[colug-432] Flawless Drive

Joshua Kramer joskra42.list at gmail.com
Wed Sep 21 12:43:04 EDT 2016

"No new drive yet. Just getting prepared to buy one. I want to send it
back immediately if not up to par."

I don't think you can do this with an SSD- the failure modes I've
heard of generally consist of "one day it works, one day it doesn't,
with no sign as to why".  This is why backups are very important.  :)

With hard drives, however, there are things you can do.  Most hard
drives that are defective are either DOA or will die within the first
6 months or so.  Statistically, those that make it past 6 months are
very likely to last several years.  So you can actively try to break
the hard drive when you first get it, to shorten that 6 month timespan
into something more reasonable.

There is a Linux based stress tester, I don't recall what it's called,
that is very effective at killing those hard drive that are defective.
It basically creates a file or files that will fill up the entire hard
drive.  These files are full of random data.  It then runs a test such
that the the disk heads are forced to go back and forth, spanning the
entire disk surface area, many times per second.  If you run this for
24 hours, then it has a good chance to kill the disk so that you can
send it back for a warranty repair.

A-ha, I found it, it is called stressdisk.  It says that it does, in
fact, work on flash media and SSD's... though the tests on flash and
SSD's are destructive because flash has a limited number of write


Here is an article on SSD reliability:


On Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 6:46 PM, tom <thomas.w.cranston at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 09/20/2016 04:32 PM, Rick Hornsby wrote:
> On September 20, 2016 at 11:17:07, tom (thomas.w.cranston at gmail.com) wrote:
> How can I check a new HDD or SSD for errors. I could use the Disks gui,
> but I don't think it will detect bad areas on either type of drive. Is
> there a command line I could use? Could a Windows install disk be used
> to check a drive for bad areas. Is it reasonable to expect a HDD or SSD
> to be 100% flawless when brand new?
> It depends on what you mean by "100% flawless". Should a drive perform
> adequately and to specifications out of the box? Yes, absolutely. Should a
> drive have 0 bad blocks already remapped by the drive's firmware? Probably.
> Does a bad block or two that's been remapped and that the OS will never know
> about really matter? No.
> If you can momentarily retreat from the idea where you seem to think your
> new drive has bad blocks, and explain the symptoms you're experiencing, we
> might be able to provide better insight to whatever problem you're having.
> No new drive yet. Just getting prepared to buy one. I want to send it back
> immediately if not up to par.
> There are many many software products which will perform a surface scan of
> your disk, and will attempt to validate that there aren't any bad blocks the
> drive's firmware has yet to remap. Use a little bit of caution when running
> these tools against an SSD. SSDs are a completely different storage
> technology than traditional magnetic platters. They are not nearly as easily
> manipulated into checking a specific physical area of the disk's memory, but
> rather often provide a layer of abstraction from even the SATA controller -
> to the point where you pretty much can't actually know with any certainty
> what physical part of the drive's "memory" you're looking at.
> I am leaning towards a SSD for my laptop as I think it will not be
> affected by movement of the laptop.
> Well, yes. It is true there are no moving parts in an SSD. Under normal
> conditions, a spinny drive is not necessarily a critical improvement over an
> SSD as far as movement of the laptop. Between the computers and the drives
> themselves, modern gear tends to be able to park (lock) the heads when they
> sense a sudden acceleration - like a fall. A laptop dropped the wrong way
> from enough of a height onto a hard surface can destroy either type of
> drive. If the laptop is going to experience a lot of vibration - ie it will
> be used in a moving truck, get an SSD. Spinny drives are pretty solid, but
> there's no reason to risk dropping a head into a platter.
> Would probably go with HDD for my
> desktop computer as it just sits there for years on end.
> SSDs have a few more benefits - they're faster, have lower power
> requirements, and don't run as hot. However SSDs are still a little more
> expensive on a per GB cost for smaller drives, all the way to a lot more
> expensive for the larger capacities.
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